Back on the merry-go-round
Tippets by Taps #167: COVID again, web3, cursors, and more. Enjoy!
A warm welcome to you new readers who are getting this for the first time. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your week. As a reminder, Tippets is where I share my thoughts on topics I find interesting, usually centered around technology and psychology, as well as an assortment of tidbits and snippets (aka. tippets!) from to mix it up!
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“Is everyone hunkering down for the weekend? Feels like the beginning all over again”
“If we can’t get back to our lives after a very effective vaccine has become available for those most at risk, do we never go back to normal?”
“It is unclear to me when this shit ends and it’s beyond frustrating.”
Text messages from various friends in various group threads exchanged over this first week kicking off the New Year.
All from dads with young kids like me. All of us vaccinated and boosted. All languishing, amazed that news hasn’t made a bigger deal about time travel being real. How else to explain the world being back in April 2020?
“Guys, I’m desperate to get out of dodge. Between the ever present fear of COVID and inevitable daycare closures I’m gonna lose it!”
I remain optimistic about the year ahead, but it has been a rocky start. The whiplash is real.
And as a parent, COVID creates a different kind of fear and anxiety that no amount of data or research can seemingly quell. Heck, even a COVID expert who knows the data better than anyone got nervous when his son got COVID, and his son is 28!
I wanted to write a longer post on the unique challenges that families with multiple small children face. I struggled to find the words to precisely describe the rollercoaster of emotions at this COVID Theme Park. Then I found this piece by Amil Niazi, titled “Omicron Means Parents Are Doing It All Again, Except This Time Dead Inside.”
It didn’t just resonate with me. It speaks for me. So I encourage reading it in full.
None of us can believe we’re doing this two years later, facing the same challenges and heartbreaks we’ve faced since 2020. Omicron has tipped the scales we’ve all so desperately been trying to balance, scales that were already precariously perched before this variant. And whether you’re boosted or not, no one is immune from the mounting anxieties and pressures this latest round of spiking case counts, re-emerging lockdowns, and school closures has brought.
To all my parents with young kids out there, I send you strength and hopefully some brief, joyful moments of respite. And I hope everyone manages to stay safe and healthy while our ride continues on this merry-go-round.
Tippets from Around the Web:
My first impressions of web3
This excellent write up on web3 by Moxie Marlinspike (aka. Matthew Rosenfeld), co-founder and creator of Signal has been making the rounds, some calling it “the canonical piece on the current state of web3.” I agree. Informative, objective, and approachable, it outlines the challenges with decentralization and how your average internet user thinks.
This might suggest that decentralization itself is not actually of immediate practical or pressing importance to the majority of people downstream, that the only amount of decentralization people want is the minimum amount required for something to exist, and that if not very consciously accounted for, these forces will push us further from rather than closer to the ideal outcome as the days become less early.
54 years ago, a computer programmer fixed a massive bug — and created an existential crisis
I am not naturally a writer. The momentum of a passionate conversation with a friend is far more likely to end in insight than me sitting alone arguing with myself. As such, nothing taunts me as much as the blinking cursor on a blank page. “So? What’s next?” it asks. Blink. Blink. Blink.
It turns out the blinking cursor was not intended to torment, but to help. From this fun look at the birth of the cursor:
“I remember him telling me the reason behind the blinking cursor, and it was simple,” [Charles Kiesling, the inventor of the cursor]’s son writes. “He said there was nothing on the screen to let you know where the cursor was in the first place. So he wrote up the code for it so he would know where he was ready to type on the Cathode Ray Tube.”
The blinking, it turns out, is simply a way to catch the coders’ attention and stand apart from a sea of text.
No Way to Grow Up
Troubling statistics on the toll COVID has taken on children. Math and reading at lower levels, a national state of emergency in children’s medical health, rising suicide attempts, and no end in sight.
LG’s Omnipod self-driving concept is actually an entire world on wheels
This week at the a lackluster Consumer Electronics Show, LG announced their latest innovation concept: an autonomous home on wheels. According to the company, it is a “mobility concept solution that blurs the distinction between home and car.” Now, some might say this is crazy and makes no sense. Who needs a virtual butler that may or may not be able to make food for you while you’re driving? I personally think LG is on to something. The Omnipod is the best way to get an additional dwelling unit added to your home without having to go through HOA and city permitting :)
Quote I’m thinking about: “Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present—thoughtfully, justly.” - Marcus Aurelius
Please share what you’re reading! If you have insight on anything mentioned above or have any interesting links/papers/books that you think would be worth sharing in future issues of Tippets, please reach out! Click here, reply to this email, or DM me on Twitter at @taps.
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